All posts by Jen Thorpe

Johanna Zorn is Leaving Third Coast

Executive Director and Co-Founder of Third Coast, Johanna Zorn, announced (Google Doc) That she will leave the pioneering audio arts organization she led for 19 years. She will remain at the helm until the fall.

“Third Coast has been successful beyond my wildest dreams,” said Zorn. “At this juncture, I’m excited to pass the leadership of the organization on to the next generation, whose bold new ideas will foster the next chapter of Third Coast’s growth and evolution.”

Zorn founded Third Coast in 2000, alongside Julie Shapiro, as a project of Chicago Public Media. In creating the first home for audio storytelling of its kind. Zorn plays a pivotal role in the evolution in the field. In 2019, Third Coast’s position across an expanding industry of audio storytelling is more important than ever.

When Third Coast became an independent arts non-profit in 2009, Zorn steered the organization into its independent status, ensuring the organization’s vitality in public media and podcasting.

The Board of Directors and current staff of Third Coast have initiated a public search to replace Zorn on May 30, with the intention of filling the role in the fall of 2019. The position will be posted on the Third Coast’s website shortly.

Johanna Zorn wrote a post titled: “A Letter form Third Coast’s Johanna Zorn (5/22/19)” on the Third Coast website. Fans of Third Coast will want to read it in full. In it, she writes, “I won’t be leaving until the fall, and I look forward to working with Third Coast’s board and staff to ensure a smooth transition and secure future.”

Libsyn Partners with Entercom to Bring Podcasts to

Liberated Syndication (Libsyn), a worldwide leader of podcast hosting, distribution and monetization, announced a new agreement with Entercom, a leading media and entertainment company and one of the largest radio broadcasters in the United States, to distribute Libsyn podcasts on, Entercom’s integrated digital platform. is the fastest growing digital audio app in the U.S. has quickly established itself as a leading platform for live and on-demand exclusive premium audio content across news, entertainment, music, and sports. Through the agreement, the platform’s tens of millions of monthly active users across the U.S. will now have direct access to the 62,000 active podcasts, totaling over 4.9 million episodes, hosted on Libsyn.

“The partnership will make it easier for listeners to consume our great podcasts by making the podcasts directly available on an app they already use daily,” said Rob Walch, V.P. of Podcaster Relations, Libsyn. “We are very excited for the growth that will bring to podcasting and are thrilled to work directly with Entercom to make it very easy for all of the shows hosted on our service to be part of their digital platform.”

“As the fastest growing digital audio app in the country, we are laser-focused on providing the content we know our listeners want, whenever and wherever and however they want it,” said Corey Podolsky, Vice President of Business Development, Entercom. “Podcast listening on continues to grow at an accelerating pace. Partnering with Libsyn to make it simple for podcasters to reach millions of listeners on our platform is a win for everyone.”

Currently, the Libsyn network reaches over 111 million monthly unique audience members. Libsyn has created a custom destination for allowing podcasters to control the timing and number of episodes they release to the audience, including the ability to release exclusive content to the platform. Using Libsyn’s powerful audience analytics platform, podcasters will be able to gague the size and unique geographic location of audiences consuming their content.

Podtrac Released a Podtrac Measurement 2019 Update

Podtrac made a update to its algorithm for calculating unique downloads. This change will go into effect on the Podtrac dashboard on June 1, 2019. The new download numbers were reported for the first time for top publishers in the April Top 10 Publishers ranking.

Podtrac is updating its measurement algorithm as part of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Tech Lab compliance and certification process, as well as taking this opportunity to update for changes in the podcast landscape.

How will the update affect Podtrac Podcaster’s numbers? Podtrac says the good news is that your unique monthly audience numbers (US and Global) will not see substantial change.

However, the not so happy news is you should expect to see your download numbers decrease to be consistent with the new guidelines.

Podtrac explains that download numbers might go up or down anyway based on seasonality associated with your show or podcast. Keep in mind that your download numbers might go up or down anyway based on any seasonality associated with your show or podcast consumption trends in general, but the overall impact from the new algorithm is changes will be a more conservative download count per the IAB standard.

Podtrac pointed out that the IAB published Podcast Measurement Technical Guidelines 2.0 in December of 2017. Advertisers are getting behind the IAB Compliance Program as a way to make it easier and more reliable for them to make advertising decisions across multiple shows. Advertisers are requesting companies submit advertising proposals to identify shows with IAB 2.0 certified counts.

You may want to read the entire Podtrac update post for more information.

Investing in the Podcast Ecosystem in 2019 Report Released

The Investing in the Podcast Ecosystem in 2019 report was released on the “a16z” website. It includes some interesting data about podcasting.

  • Over the course of the last 10 years, podcasts have steadily grown from a niche community of audiobloggers distributing files over the internet, to one-third of Americans now listening monthly and a quarter listening weekly.
  • Podcast listeners are consuming 6+ hours per week of podcasts and consuming more content every year.
  • For weekly podcast consumers, average weekly consumption is 6 hours and 37 minutes.
  • On average, Americans listen to 7 podcast episodes per week.
  • Roughly half of podcast listeners make $675,000 or more in annual income; a majority have a post-secondary degree; and almost one third have a graduate degree.
  • There is also a gender gap with podcast listeners skewing mostly male, mirroring the gap among podcast creators as well. However, the gender gap has narrowed from 25% gap in 2008 to 9% today.
  • Listeners are generally educated (30% graduate degrees), millennials (44%), and slightly more than half are male (though gap is closing).
  • Since Apple launched its Podcasts app in 2012, smartphones have grown to become the most common device for podcast consumption.
  • Podcasts are most often consumed at home (48%) or in a car (26%); macro trends around growing number of connected cars and smart speakers could impact this mix.
  • Apple podcasts accounts for about 2/3 of all podcast listening.
  • Now the second largest podcasting platform, Spotify introduced podcasts into the app in 2015 and has doubled its market share in the last year to 9%.
  • Top 10 Podcast Publishers – a quarter of unique streams/downloads is NPR Podcasts. The rest of the Top 10 include: iHeartRadio, PRX, Wondery, New York Times, WNCY Studios, This American Life/Serial, Barstool Sports, ESPN, Daily Wire.
  • Podcast ad revenue is growing but is still tiny compared to other content formats.
  • Podcasts monetize at only $0.01 per listener hour, on average, 10x less than radio.

Sony Music Entertainment will Make Podcasts

Leading podcast developers Adam Davidson and Laura Mayer and Sony Music Entertainment announced a new joint venture that will find and develop original podcast talent and programming.

Davidson is co-founder of NPR’s Planet Money, and an award-winning contributor to This American Life, and Mayer is a top podcast and public radio producer formerly of Stitcher, Panoply Media and WNYC among others.

The joint venture will create and distribute original scripted and unscripted programming across multiple podcast genres and subject matters. Based in Brooklyn, NY, Davidson and Mayer will lead the yet-to-be named company and focus on cultivating dynamic talent and unique storytelling using Sony Music’s expertise in content creation and supporting new technologies for monetization.

The joint venture brings to the podcast community Davidson’s and Mayer’s expertise in identifying and developing premium content alongside Sony Music’s best-in-class capabilities in marketing, sales and distribution, business development, audio production, and data and analytics.

Variety reported that Sony Music owns 50% of the venture and is investing an undisclosed sum. Davidson and Mayer each hold a 25% stake.

Soundtrap for Storytellers Helps Make Podcasting Easier

Soundtrap, a Spotify company, announced Soundtrap for Storytellers, a cloud-based one-stop shop for high-quality collaborative podcast creation that provides podcasters with a powerful, efficient and user-friendly recording and production process.

Now available globally, Soundtrap for Storytellers is a comprehensive podcast solution that offers all of the following features in the same service: recording; remote multi-track interviewing with video chat; smart transcribing and editing of the spoken-word audio file as a text document; full audio production capabilities, the publishing of its transcript to optimize SEO, and the publishing of the podcast to Spotify.

Equipped with a wide range of intuitive features, Soundtrap for Storytellers allows podcasters to focus on the art of storytelling by significantly reducing the time and investment typically needed to make podcasts sound professional. The full suite of services can be accessed via desktop, and a select set of recording and editing features is available on iOS and Android.

Tools available include:

Interactive Transcripts/Editing Studio: Soundtrap for Storytellers saves hours of time by enabling users to transcribe and edit the spoken-word audio file as you would in a text document, eliminating the need to listen to the podcast over and over again. For now, transcription is only available in English.

Collaborate and Remotely Interview Guests: Soundtrap for Storytellers enables podcasters to seamlessly collaborate with others from anywhere around the world. The platform is cloud-based and allows multiple people to talk, record (on separate tracks) and work on the same podcast by sending a link to join the session immediately.

Increase Discoverability: Publish your podcast transcript to increase SEO, drive traffic to your podcast, and gain new fans.

Sound Effects: Create your own jingle and complete your production with sound design using Soundtrap’s built-in instruments and loops, and access an enormous sound library without having to leave the studio.

Soundtrap for Storytellers is available now. Pricing begins at $14.99/month and an annual plan is available starting at $11.99/month.

Audacity 2.3.2 has been Released

Podcasters who use Audacity need to know that Audacity 2.3.2 has been released. Audacity 2.3.2 replaces all previous versions for Windows, macOS and Linux.

Improvements include:

  • Audacity now includes the LAME mp3 encoder. Previously, due to now expired patents, you had to download it separately.
  • There is a new “Select” button in the track panel to select the whole track.
  • Audacity mod-script-pipe for driving Audacity from Python now comes with Audacity and can be enabled via preferences.
  • Type to Create a Label is now off by default.
  • A plug-in installer for Nyquist now provides a file browser for selecting ‘.NY’ files to install.

More details about the new improvements in Audacity 2.3.2 can be found in the Wiki Overview.

Over 20 bugs in 2.3.1 fixed, including:

  • Audacity 2.3.1 would crash if append-recording to a collapsed track.
  • Many accessibility bugs on macOS fixed.

More information about bug fixes in Audacity 2.3.2 can be found in Release Notes 2.3.2.

PRX Seeks a Creative Services Manager

The PRX Marketing Department is seeking a Creative Services Manager.

PRX Marketing Department is looking for a creative and experienced brand professional to oversee all creative design, graphics, and branding aesthetic. This is an exciting and fast-paced position that supports marketing, distribution, sales, operations, IT and fundraising departments and our podcast network, Radiotopia. This individual acts as a critical team member who helps lead the creative development and implementation of PRX’s brand strategy.

Some responsibilities include:

  • Assigns projects to vendors, graphic artists, PR and Marketing Agencies; production houses, utilizing current workload, skill sets and experiences
  • Translate creative briefs into design assets and systems that meet business goals as defined by CMO
  • Produce monthly webinars in collaboration with content and station services departments
  • Ensure producers have a style guide book and kick-off onboarding by walking new and returning producers through the process
  • Monitor producers and shows to ensure compliance with brand and logo use
  • Build and distribute social media toolkits with regular messaging, graphics, audiograms, approved photos, etc.
  • Excellent design an graphics portfolio
  • Acts as a liaison between marketing, production, fundraising, ad sales departments and Radiotopia Network and its producers
  • Builds and maintains PRX, Radiotopia, and PRX Podcast Garage style guidelines

This position is based in Boston, Massachusetts. PRX employees are offered health, dental and life insurance benefits, short- and long-term disability, a 401K retirement plan, and paid parental leave.

Visit the website PRX website where this job listing is posted for more information and to apply for the position.

Anchor Voice Messages Now Available on Web and Mobile

Anchor announced that listeners of your Anchor podcast can send you audio messages from any device, browser, or in the show notes of any podcast app. You can put the audio messages right into your podcast. No app required.

How it works:

Listeners can tap a link in your show notes to send you Voice Messages, no matter what device or browser they’re using, or which app they use to listen. They can also click the button on your podcast’s Anchor profile. This will take them to a window where they can record a message up to one minute long. Once they hit send, they’re done! You’ll be notified every time someone sends you a Voice Message.

You’ll find your incoming Voice Messages in the creation screen on Anchor’s mobile app and web dashboard. From here, you can listen to all the messages your listeners have sent, and immediately add any into your next podcast episode. For any messages that you want to include, you can add them as segments in your Episode Builder and easily place them wherever you want in your episode.

Anchor did something that I believe will prevent people from using the Voice Messages feature to harass or threaten Anchor podcasters. Anchor does not permit anonymously sent Voice Messages. Senders will need to sign up or log into an Anchor account in order to send a message, so podcasters can see who the Voice Message is coming from.